Nestled among towering pines and the Pacific Ocean on the Central Coast of California, Cambria is a quaint village along scenic Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Moonstone Beach is one of many uncrowded beaches on the Cambria Coastline but this one brings something extra special to residents and visitors. Enjoy strolling the one-mile boardwalk that meanders all along the splendid coast between Cambria’s north end to Leffingwell Landing and back. Or find refuge on the abundance of wooden benches along the beach park and spend a relaxing afternoon listening to the ocean’s melody while watching whales, dolphins and birds. Beach combing, exploring tide pools and viewing the sea otters as they frolic in the waves are also favorite pastimes. Feel the sand between your toes at this natural wonder. In fact, if you look closely at the small rocks along the beach, you’ll see some aren’t rocks at all. Instead, they’re colorful, shiny moonstones for which the beach was named.
Elephant Seals have been inhabiting the coast of Highway 1 for years, and they continue to be a famous stop while visitors are in the Cambria area.These ocean going mammals spend eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1,000 to 5,000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to their land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. The Piedras Blancas rookery, on Highway 1 seven miles north of San Simeon on the California Central Coast, is home to about 17,000 animals.
Cambria is a magical place that’s home to sea otters who spend most of their day basking in the sun and diving back in the cold water. Although the otters are not as abundant as the elephant seals, these creatures of the sea are just as delicate and precious. Sea otters inhabit offshore environments, which is why a trip to Cambria means you’ll surely see one or two of these delightful critters frolicking in their natural habitat. How to know they are near? Just listen for the familiar click-clack of rocks. Otters use rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells of their favorite food – sea urchin. Their exceptionally thick coat of fur is the densest in the animal kingdom. So while the water may require a wet-suit for humans, sea otters have easy and natural insulation from their fur.